A papal-based reflection for Passion Sunday

Minutes after the election result was declared in the Sistine Chapel, a Vatican official called the Master of Ceremonies offered to Pope Francis the traditional papal red cape trimmed with ermine that his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI gladly wore on ceremonial occasions.

“No thank you, Monsignore,” Francis is reported to have replied. “You put it on instead. Carnival time is over!”

It was just one small sign out of many this week that as Massimo Franco, one of Italy’s shrewdest political editorial writers, commented in the Corriere Della Sera, “the era of the Pope-King and of the Vatican court is over”.

In any event, it appears indeed that with Francis the papal carnival time is over…..I hope and pray this is true……… J W Greenleaf


9 thoughts on ““CARNIVAL TIME IS OVER”

  1. I liked the quote about Pope Francis’ attitude to what he calls “Carnival time”. This gives me much hope for a Church which appears to me to have lost its way. My feeling is that all is far from well in the House of God. However, another quote which appeared on Facebook concerning the newly elected Pope, fills me with dismay again. The quote was
    “Women are naturally unfit for political office. Both the Natural order and facts show us that woman has always been the helper of man who thinks and does but nothing more.” Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. ( now known as Pope Francis).
    Another misogynist?

    1. Mari, I hope not……When I also read that quote I kept hoping that it reflected a former state of mind, a miss-statement, or was simply not true. Time will tell. If Francis later reveals himself as a sexist tyrant who gets his kicks from playing to the crowds, I will become one of his strongest and most vocal critics. I am too old to be patient with deceitful leaders. So we watch…….and hope for truly contemporary and authentically Christian church leadership.

      Thank you for writing

      John (Jack) Greenleaf

      1. Yes Jack and I will be right behind you . I too am totally out of patience with the continuing round of total hypocrisy going on within Church ranks. Did you see the article in the Independent re a multi-million pound deal involving the Vatican buying half complex of apartments in Rome including the Gay Sauna Club? 12 room apartments for priests?! Is this what all the retiring collections within our churches are in aid of?Makes a mockery of Lent doesn’t it?
        The question of women in the priesthood is way overdue being challenged openly. This pathetic excuse that Jesus was a man etc and priests are supposed to stand in for Him just won’t wash. He had to be one or the other didn’t He? It is tantamount to saying that irish catholics can’t be priests either because Jesus was a jew!
        I have been recently reading a book called ” Mary Magdalene. The First Apostle.The Struggle for Authority.” a martvelous study by Ann Graham Brock. Someone really should send a copy to the Vatican. Yes. I suppose I am a bit of a rebel but that is because I entered the Catholic Church with a mission- to help put it right. Sorry if that sounds arrogant, it isn’t meant to be, I am just trying to do what Christ wanted me to. I will do and be and study anything which helps that quest along.
        Glad to have found your site. Best Wishes . Mari .

    2. That misogynist quote is fake. It was posted on Yahoo Answers on March 13 by an Argentinian whose Yahoo user name is ‘Bumper Crop’, and no source has been found for it prior to then. Bumper Crop claims that Bergoglio said it in a 2007 speech critical of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez. His apparent source was an article from Télam (a major national press association in Argentina, similar to the Associated Press) from June 4, 2007. All of Télam’s articles are archived, but no one has found this supposed article in the archives from June 4, 2007 (or from any time). That’s why it’s no coincidence that Bumper Crop didn’t provide a link to the source – the source doesn’t exist. People with agendas other than the truth have been spreading the quote either in order to conceal the fact that the original source was a page on Yahoo Answers six years after the supposed speech, or because they are predisposed to believe the quote to be true regardless of lack of evidence. I admit that I sometimes believe certain things because I’m predisposed to believe them. Common human trait, I guess; we need to pray for our society to be blessed with a renewed appreciation for the truth!

      What is true is that Pope Francis is admired by many Argentinian women politicians (if you can understand Spanish, look up stories about Francis on Argentinian news sites and you’ll find lots of positive reaction). If, as Bumper Crop would have us believe, he had said such a misogynistic thing in a public speech six years ago in Buenos Aires (the capital of a country with a free press), there’s no way he’d have a good reputation now.

      1. Many thanks Alex for taking the time and trouble to provide such reassurance. It isn’t a matter of being predisposed to believe it, although the track record of the Church’s attitudes to women would rather invite this I agree, it is more the need to watch closely what actually happens now after all the ‘hype’ settles and the words and gestures become history. Vatican 2 states categorically that all are equal and the world should treat everyone as such- except it would seem within the Church itself. Jack’s last post on this issue said something about what role will women play in your Church this Easter. It was a good point. In mine it will probably be a couple of readings and maybe we will have female Eucharistic ministers but that will be that. Yet it is women who, for the most part, keep individual churches going with all they do for no recompense or recognition. There aren’t too many menfolk willing to scrub and clean, run the piety stall, organise functions etc. Just what do we have to do to be considered worthy to speak and act for Christ in an officially recognised manner? Chain ourselves to the Vatican railings? Let us hope Pope Francis intends to surprise us all- in a good way. Mari.

  2. Greetings John,
    I feel so blessed to have found a clear “Voice from the Desert,” unimpeded by guile or malice. I left a Taliban-like, judgmental Protestant faith only to see my Catholic faith leaders gradually adopt the very same mindset regarding the enlightened revelations that came from Vatican II. I see an arrogant clergy out of sync with their flock, demanding oaths and vows from their catechists forcing an abdication of the “primacy of conscience” that smacks of the Inquisition aka CDF.
    I , too, will listen for the authentic Christian voice as Pope Francis strives to set straight an Ecclesial Hierarchy that turned a deaf ear to the cries and suffering of children.
    In the meantime, I will read your words, and those of like mind, who can no longer silently abide the affronts to the Church of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    1. Dear Vera
      We move along together ……years ago I decided my faith was anchored in Jesus of Nazareth not the Jesus of
      Rome…..I remain a Roman Catholic historical theologian but I have very deep Quaker and Huguenot roots. 🙂
      John (jack)

    2. Well said VeraLumina (Truth and Light?). In many ways we, the so-called laity, have brought some of this upon ourselves inasmuch as we have been somewhat lazy perhaps? Many in my parish church seem pretty ignorant of Vatican 2 and what it all means. I am still in the throes of attempting to introduce a library to help rectify this situation but the levels of apathy are painfully apparent.
      Christ Himself showed us the way inasmuch as He demonstrated that where you see injustice and anything which is hypocritical which puts stumbling blocks in the way of the innocent , you have a duty to speak out. People cannot do this if they are ignorant of what the changes in the liturgy for example reflect- i.e. their own responsibility to bring about God’s Kingdom here on Earth. Best Wishes. Mari.

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